10 February 2012
New release: The Shepherd and the Mermaid
This disc showcases the winning combination of voice, clarinet and piano delighted intimate gatherings and inspired many lovely works… Australian Soprano, Elena Xanthoudakis is joined by clarinettist Jason Xanthoudakis and pianist Clemens Leske.
Nineteenth century art song was firmly harnessed to the instrument found in every genteel home – the piano. Other available players were eagerly welcomed to the salon and editions were published with ad libitum or obbligato parts for violin, flute, horn, cello, harmonium, and the instrument outstandingly raised in status by Mozart and Weber, and well suited in range and tone colour – the clarinet.
Much of the music on this disc was long forgotten is symptomatic of the neglect of this repertoire. A ‘Lieder recital’ gradually established itself in the concert hall rather than the household, predominantly with voice and piano alone, and the twentieth century turned a largely deaf ear to the perceived sentimentality or Biedermeier qualities of ‘salon music’. Discovering items long overlooked can bring many rewards. One item in this recital, the iconic song for this combination, Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock, has always been admired and performed, and exerted its influence in subject matter and style on others heard here.
The winning combination of voice, clarinet and piano delighted intimate gatherings and inspired many lovely works… Australian Soprano, Elena Xanthoudakis is joined by clarinettist Jason Xanthoudakis and pianist Clemens Leske.
Elena Xanthoudakis holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) and a Graduate Diploma of Opera from the Victorian College of the Arts and a Master of Music from the University of Melbourne. On scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, she received her MMus with distinction. Elena also studied at the Maggio Musicale (Florence).
Jason was awarded his Diploma and a Graduate Diploma in Music (Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium where he studied with Frank Celata, Mark Walton and James Nightingale.
Clemens Leske has been concerto soloist with all of Australia's symphony orchestras (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmanian, West Australian and Queensland and has regularly performed with the Australian String Quartet, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Virtuosi and at such festivals as the Barossa International, Huntington, Spring and Adelaide and was recently soloist with the Bangkok Symphony performing the Schumann piano concerto for the King of Thailand's 50th birthday.